The European cereal harvest has been characterised by hot and dry weather in July, with heatwaves damaging crops and reducing yields in many regions, although the hot weather enabled good early harvest progress across many producing regions.

However heavy rain began in early August and persisted for several weeks, delaying combining and damaging crop quality.

The German harvest is expected to be completed this week, and wheat quality is reportedly variable, with Hagbergs ranging from below 100 to above 400.

The official crop estimate sees wheat production at 23.7m tonnes, 1.2m tonnes above last year, although industry sources expect the crop to be slightly lower.

The UK wheat harvest is 90% complete, with only northern regions and Scotland still combining. Yields are reported as good, according to ADAS, but quality is declining with sprouting in lodged crops.

In Poland, the harvest is still disrupted by rain, with 10-20% of wheat and spring barley is still to be cut. Wheat and barley yields are now expected 10-15% lower due to the heatwave in July, and the wet weather in August is seen severely damaging cereal quality.

In the Czech Republic, less than 10% of the wheat and barley remains to be harvested. The Czech statistical office sees wheat production 15% below last year at 3.6m tonnes, and barley 29% lower at 2m tonnes.


 

KEY HARVEST TURNING POINTS
  • Hot and dry weather in July led Strategie Grains to lower its EU grain production estimate by 2.3m tonnes.
  • Heat seen lowering production in the France, Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
  • Rains arrive in August, delaying harvest across much of Europe.
  • Strategie Grains reduces EU grain production estimate by 10.5m tonnes, of which 5.8m tonnes is wheat.
  • Quality concerns due to wet weather in Germany, Czech Republic, and to a lesser extent, France.
  • Improved weather in early September enables the harvest to progress well to near completion in many states.
  • For a look back at the UK harvest, go to our Harvest Highlights page